Though anxiety often feels like a lonely battle, Petersen’s book On Edge reminds all 40 million of us that we aren’t alone.
In her debut book, science reporter Andrea Petersen tackles the difficult topic of anxiety disorders. She gives us an in-depth look into the history of anxiety while including her history with anxiety disorders. Though it’s part autobiography, Petersen’s accounts of her personal experiences are very relatable.
For those who suffer from anxiety or the loved ones of those who do, this book is really eye opening. Not understanding why you are the way you are can be frustrating.Science & researchers still don’t have a definitive answer for the development of anxiety. But, Petersen does an excellent job at discussing the many probable causes. From childhood trauma, illness, parenting styles, to genetics, she delves into nearly every theory that has been linked to anxiety throughout the years.
“Mental illness isn’t like tuberculosis, which is always caused by one particular bacterium. Anxiety disorders almost certainly have multiple causes- from genetics to childhood trauma to how your parents interact with you. And for any given person, the mix of these factors will be as singular as a fingerprint.”(Peterson, 92)
In addition to the predispositions to anxiety, Peterson touches on the treatments for anxiety. She talks about the nondrug therapies, medications, as well as words of encouragement for accepting and facing your anxiety. One of my favorite quotes in the book is “Avoiding experiences that make you anxious just reinforces anxiety.”(Peterson, 14) While this may sound obvious, many of us battling anxiety often choose flight over fight mode. We flee our threats instead of facing them. Unfortunately, this never solves the problem, it only postpones it. On Edge by Andrea Peterson encourages us to stop running from our anxiety. She details her anxiety at its all time low while reminding readers of the many ways to manage their anxiety.
Overall, I really appreciated this book. Though it’s a challenging read full of lots of information, it’s also a very stimulating read. It reminds me of how fortunate we are that anxiety is better understood today. If Andrea Petersen had written this book prior to the 1980’s it’s likely she would be called everything from a crazy woman to a quack. Thankfully, in the year 2017, I and many others are sure to call her a brave and honest woman for discussing and educating others on a topic that is often misunderstood.
*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review, but all opinions are 100% my own. *